Warhammer 40K FAQs

All the answers to your Warhammer 40K questions in one place! We cover everything from the rich universe, to the intricate gameplay, and everything in between.
Warhammer 40K FAQs

Accessibility and Suitability

In essence, Warhammer 40k is a hobby involving the collection, building, and painting of miniature armies set in a grimdark science fiction universe. Players use these armies to play out battles on a tabletop using a detailed rule system, with the overarching narrative being one of an eternal war across a vast galaxy. This overview explains in detail all of the intricacies of the game!

While Warhammer 40k is primarily designed for two or more players, there are solo play rules and scenarios available that allow for single-player experiences. This is especially useful for those wanting to practice or enjoy the lore alone.

Warhammer 40k is generally suitable for older children and teenagers. The official age recommendation is usually 12 and up due to the complexity of the rules and the mature themes. Younger children might need guidance to grasp the full extent of the game’s mechanics and background.

Warhammer 40k has a reputation for having a steep learning curve due to its detailed rule set and deep lore. However, many find the challenge rewarding. Beginners are encouraged to start with starter sets and introductory games to gradually learn the complexities.

While there is no set age, Games Workshop recommends Warhammer for ages 12 and up. The suitability depends on an individual’s maturity, reading level, and ability to grasp complex rules and concepts. With the proper guidance, younger enthusiasts can also start enjoying the hobby.

A typical game might use around 20-40 figures, but you can play smaller skirmishes with fewer models or large battles that require many more. The number can vary greatly depending on the scale of the game you wish to play.

Absolutely, Warhammer 40k is popular among adults for its strategic depth, hobby aspects, and rich lore. The community spans all ages.

Cultural and Content

Not all Warhammer games are connected. While they share thematic elements and sometimes mechanics, Warhammer 40k is set in a distinct, far-future universe, whereas Warhammer Fantasy Battles (which evolved into Age of Sigmar) is set in a separate high-fantasy universe. However, thematic parallels like the presence of Chaos exist in both. Learn more about the differences between the games here

Popularity can vary by region and over time. Historically, Warhammer 40k has often been more popular globally due to its unique sci-fi setting, but with the introduction of Warhammer Age of Sigmar, which succeeded Warhammer Fantasy Battles, there has been a resurgence in the fantasy side of the hobby.

Warhammer 40k isn’t specifically about religion, but it does include religious themes. The Imperium of Man, for example, has a state religion worshipping the God-Emperor of Mankind. The lore explores themes of faith, zealotry, and heresy, often as part of the broader narrative rather than as a central focus.

Warhammer 40k is more accurately described as ‘grimdark’ science fiction, a term derived from its own tagline: “In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war.” It combines elements of dark fantasy with futuristic, dystopian science fiction.

Warhammer 40k does not typically feature dragons as they are traditionally known in fantasy lore. However, there are dragon-like creatures, such as the Heldrake that resemble dragons.

Warhammer 40k doesn’t have a single protagonist; instead, it features a vast array of characters, factions, and leaders, each with their own backstories and agendas. This allows players and fans to explore the universe from many perspectives.

No, Warhammer 40k is not high fantasy; it’s a science fiction universe with fantasy elements. It’s often described as a space opera, combining elements of epic science fiction with a dark and gritty tone.

Romance is not a central theme in Warhammer 40k and is rarely addressed in the lore. The focus is typically on conflict, survival, and the machinations of empires and warriors.

“Badass” is subjective, but many fans might point to characters like the Primarchs, especially Horus for his role in the Heresy, or Roboute Guilliman for his leadership in the Imperium. Characters like Ciaphas Cain and Commissar Yarrick are also notable for their legendary deeds.

“Weak” can be context-dependent, varying between lore and tabletop efficacy. In terms of the narrative, there isn’t a race that is consistently described as the weakest, as each has its own strengths and weaknesses. On the tabletop, some armies may struggle competitively, but this often changes with new rules and updates.

Comparisons with Other Franchises

Warhammer 40k and Dungeons & Dragons (DND) are both tabletop games, but they’re quite different. Warhammer 40k is a tabletop wargame focused on tactical battles using miniature armies, while DND is a role-playing game where players embody characters and go on adventures, typically without using armies of miniatures.

This is subjective and depends on personal preference. Warhammer 40k is a game with deep lore and hobby aspects, while Star Wars is a media franchise with movies, series, and its own universe of games. Each has its own distinct appeal and fan base.

This can vary greatly depending on the level at which someone engages with either hobby. Magic: The Gathering can be less expensive to start but collecting rare cards can become quite costly. Warhammer may have a higher initial cost due to the miniatures, but over time, expenses can balance out depending on purchasing habits.

Both universes are extensive; Warhammer 40k offers a detailed, unified sci-fi lore, whereas MTG features a diverse multiverse with varying themes and settings.

D&D allows for flexible, dynamic storytelling led by players and a Dungeon Master, while Warhammer 40k follows a more structured narrative influenced by its established lore and the outcomes of battles.

Yu-Gi-Oh! tends to be more accessible due to simpler rules and its popular anime series, making it appealing to a younger demographic.

Cost and Value

Warhammer 40K games involve high-quality, intricately designed miniatures, extensive lore, and detailed rule sets. The production costs for the materials and the expansive nature of the universe contribute to the price. Additionally, it’s a niche market with a dedicated fan base willing to pay for the craftsmanship and the immersive experience.

The most expensive models tend to be the large centerpiece units, often because of their size, complexity, and the limited nature of their release. For instance, models like the Knight Paladin can cost as much as $170. 

The cheapest Warhammer army would likely be one that requires fewer models to play effectively, known as “elite” armies. Armies like the Grey Knights or Custodes can be less expensive to collect because you can field fewer, more powerful models.

Rarity in Warhammer figures can come from limited edition releases, discontinued models, or event-exclusive miniatures. Some of the rarest figures might be those from the early days of Games Workshop or limited-run collector’s editions.

There is no subscription or fixed monthly cost for playing W40K. The monthly cost of Warhammer 40K can vary widely among players. Some months you might spend nothing, while other months you could make significant purchases for new armies or expansions. It depends on how actively you are collecting and playing. 

The Ultimate Starter Set is considered a great value for newcomers, as it includes two armies, a rulebook, and terrain – everything needed to start playing. For its price point, it’s often recommended as an efficient way to begin your Warhammer 40k journey.

Exact numbers are hard to pin down, but Warhammer 40k is one of the most popular tabletop wargames worldwide, with a community that spans across various countries. The player base is certainly in the hundreds of thousands, if not more.

Game Dynamics and Playability

Space Marines are often recommended for beginners due to their straightforward playstyle, general resilience in the game, and the abundance of resources available to learn about them.

Warhammer 40K: Kill Team is a skirmish version of the larger game, with fewer models and a focus on squad-based tactics. It’s considered a good entry point due to its simpler rules and smaller scale.

A standard game of Warhammer 40K is usually played over five turns, but this can be adjusted for smaller or larger games.

An average game can last anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours, depending on the size of the armies and the experience of the players.

When it comes to Warhammer 40K campaign games, it can vary greatly. Some narrative campaigns could span weeks or months.

A small game can be played with as few as 500 points of models, while larger games can be 2000 points or more, which translates to roughly 20-40 models for a small game to 100+ for larger battles.

Learning the comprehensive rules and strategies can be daunting. The hobby aspect also requires skill in model assembly and painting.

Yes, you need miniatures to play the tabletop version of Warhammer 40k. However, there are video game adaptations that don’t require figures.

The basic core rules for Warhammer 40k are available for free download from the Games Workshop website. This allows new players to start learning the game.

The three main ways are Open Play (casual, with few restrictions), Narrative Play (telling a story with your battles), and Matched Play (balanced and competitive).

Lore and Universe

In the grimdark future of Warhammer 40k, the average lifespan of a typical human can vary widely, generally around 35-40 years in the lower echelons of society due to harsh living conditions and constant warfare. However, those with access to advanced technology and medical care, like high-ranking Imperium officials or nobility, can live much longer, often several hundred years.

Humans with extended lifespans in Warhammer 40k often benefit from rejuvenat treatments, genetic modifications, or are part of powerful organizations like the Adeptus Mechanicus or the Inquisition, which have access to the most advanced medical and life-extending technologies available in the Imperium.

One of the longest-running wars in Warhammer 40k is the “War in Heaven,” which isn’t a single continuous war but refers to ancient conflicts involving the Old Ones and the Necrons, stretching over millions of years. Another notably long conflict is the Siege of Vraks, which lasted for 17 years of brutal warfare.

The Age of Strife, also known as the “Old Night” in Warhammer 40k lore, lasted for about 5,000 years. It was a period marked by psychic turmoil, warp storms, civil wars, and the regression of human civilizations across the galaxy until the rise of the Emperor and the start of the Great Crusade.

The most powerful psychic entities include the Chaos Gods, such as Khorne, Nurgle, Tzeentch, and Slaanesh, who draw their power from the emotions of sentient beings across the galaxy. The Emperor of Mankind is also among the most powerful, particularly due to his psychic prowess.

The Eye of Terror is a massive, permanent warp storm located in the Segmentum Obscurus, which serves as the primary base of operations for the Chaos Space Marines. It is a region where the material universe and the immaterial Warp co-exist, creating a realm of nightmares and infinite possibilities.

The Horus Heresy was a galaxy-spanning civil war that took place 10,000 years prior to the main timeline of Warhammer 40k. Led by Horus, the favored son of the Emperor, against his father, the war shattered the Imperium, resulting in the near-death of the Emperor, the division of the Space Marine Legions, and the rise of Chaos as a major galactic power.

The Inquisition is a secretive and powerful organization within the Imperium tasked with protecting humanity from the threats of heresy, mutation, and alien influence. Inquisitors have nearly unlimited authority to root out threats to the Imperium, operating above the law to ensure the survival of human dominance across the galaxy.

The Tau are a relatively young and technologically advanced race known for their rapid development and use of advanced technology, particularly in the field of ranged weaponry. They are distinct from other factions due to their ideology of the “Greater Good,” which encourages different species to work together for mutual benefit, contrasting sharply with the typically xenophobic attitudes of other factions like the Imperium.

The Eldar are an ancient and highly advanced alien race whose empire once spanned the galaxy but now lies in ruins following a catastrophic event that led to the birth of the Chaos God Slaanesh. They are known for their psychic abilities, longevity, and sophisticated technology. Eldar society is divided into various factions such as Craftworlds, the Dark Eldar of Commorragh, and the nomadic Harlequins.

The Necrons are an ancient race of skeletal robotic warriors who have awoken from millions of years of slumber. Their primary goal is to reclaim the galaxy they once dominated and restore their dynasties to power. They are unique in their reliance on necrodermis bodies and advanced resurrection technologies, making them nearly immortal in battle.The Necrons are an ancient race of skeletal robotic warriors who have awoken from millions of years of slumber. Their primary goal is to reclaim the galaxy they once dominated and restore their dynasties to power. They are unique in their reliance on necrodermis bodies and advanced resurrection technologies, making them nearly immortal in battle.

Orks are a warlike, green-skinned race known for their brutish nature and love of combat. They are spread across the galaxy and are a constant source of conflict and chaos. Orks grow stronger and more numerous with battle, driven by a biological imperative to fight and conquer.

The Warp, also known as the Immaterium, is a parallel dimension of psychic energy that mirrors and feeds off the emotions of all sentient beings. It is the source of all psychic powers and the home of the Chaos Gods and countless other malevolent entities. It plays a crucial role in faster-than-light travel for the factions of the galaxy, despite its inherent dangers and instability.

The Primarchs are twenty superhuman leaders created by the Emperor of Mankind to lead his Space Marine Legions during the Great Crusade. Each was engineered using the Emperor’s own genetic material and designed to be both mighty warriors and brilliant generals. Many turned against the Emperor during the Horus Heresy, leading to a permanent schism in the Imperium.

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